Creative Masters and ‘the Art Behind the Content’

Tom Stern

NAB Show’s Creative Master Series starts out day two with an excellent example of what Gordon Smith, NAB president and CEO, describes as the overarching goal of the three-day show. “What’s unique about the Creative Master series,” he said, “is that it offers insight into the art behind the content.”

The day kicks off with “Sounds that Sell: From ‘Archer’ to ‘Gone Girl,’ How to Reach Your Audience With Music and SFX.” Produced in partnership with Production Music Association (PMA), the event will focus on the real nuts-and-bolts of the work artists today do to shape sound and music to tell compelling stories.

Stewart Winter, PMA member and co-owner of New York-based production music library, Video Helper, will sit down with highly successful composers and technicians whose work has added emotional impact to feature films, TV shows, videogames, commercials and trailers.

“When you see trailers, promos or commercials today,” Winter said, “there isn’t just some music living behind the video. People use effects and design almost as music itself. And with all the tools that exist to manipulate audio, we can create complex sound design for any project.”

Winter will be joined by composers Daniel Holter and Veigar Margeirsson as well as Derek Jones, chief engineer and production manager at Megatrax Productions; and Damir Price, co-owner, composer and producer at redCola Music.

“We’ll be talking about music and sound in a very practical sense,” said Winter. “I’m not as interested in a theoretical presentation. We’re all going to show the audience specific examples of how people create these elements.”

A panel discussion follows with “The Art and Creation of Bungie Studios’ “Destiny.” The session is produced in partnership with Visual Effects Society Senior Environment Artist Jason Sussman, Environment Art Lead Rob Adams and Senior Animator Dave Helsby will delve into the artistry that went into making “Destiny” and give attendees an inside look at what it takes to bring the game to market with moderation by VES Award-winning Lead VFX Artist David Johnson.

David Geffner, executive editor at ICG magazine, the publication of the International Cinematographers Guild, will engage in an in-depth conversation with Tom Stern, ASC, AFC, about Stern’s collaboration with Clint Eastwood that goes back more than 30 years, first as a gaffer and then as a cinematographer since the director gave him his first shot at that position for the 2002 thriller “Blood Work.”

American Sniper poster

In the panel, produced in partnership with the ICG, clips will also be shown from the enormously popular “American Sniper” to detail Stern’s artistic and technical approach to specific challenges.

“ICG represents the best that the craft of cinematography has to offer,” said Geffner. “In keeping with that, we’re thrilled to have this conversation with this Oscar-nominated cinematographer. We want to touch on Tom’s years as a gaffer and how that informs his approach to light, especially in “American Sniper,” which makes use of a remarkable balance of intense light and deep shadows inherent in a story about urban warfare in the Middle East. I also look forward to speaking with Tom about what it was like shooting Eastwood’s first all-digital feature with the ARRI Alexa camera. It should be a fascinating panel.”

“Coming to You Live: ACES 1.0” will address the Academy Color Encoding System (ACES), which has been designed to offer a single standard for color management, digital image interchange and archiving. In its previous incarnation, ACES specs have been incorporated into products ranging across the entire production and post ecosystem — camera, editing, VFX, color and other technology pipelines — with the ultimate aim of creating consistency across all platforms.

To discuss ACES’ next stage of development, this panel, produced in partnership with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) will feature Bill Baggelaar, senior vice president of Technology Production and Post Production at Sony Pictures Entertainment; Dustin Cross, digital imaging technician; Daryn Okada, ASC, director of photography and former president of the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC); Mike Sowa, DI colorist; and Peter Muyzers, VFX Integration Development/Visual Effects Supervisor at Skylab HQ. The session will be moderated by David Cohen, senior editor, Features at Variety.

Designed to offer practical advice, the panel will offer real-world solutions to issues involved in integrating footage shot with multiple camera models and mixed file formats; coordinate the look of VFX shots that can be spread out among multiple companies throughout the world; and
create future-proof archival files.